The Member of Parliament for Kpando in the Volta Region, Della Sowah, has urged the government to scrap the 20 percent luxury tax on imported sanitary pads.
According to her, the scrapping of this levy was necessary to drive down the cost of the imported pads, which are of better quality, to make them more affordable.
Speaking to Citi News after making the call on the floor of Parliament to mark World Menstrual Hygiene Day on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, she noted that access to the pads had a bearing on girls’ education.
“The government considers pads as a luxury item and has put a 20 percent tax on imported sanitary pads. Pads as a luxury item; I think it’s insensitive. It is an unnecessary tax and it has to be scrapped,” she said.
The MP said some girls in her constituency were forced to use rags in place of the pads during their menstrual periods.
“So many young girls when they are menstruating, they don’t go to school because when a young girl soils her uniform, it is a big deal. So rather than soil her uniform, they don’t go to school. In the end, they just become dropouts,” she said.
She noted that research indicated that “if sanitary pads are cheap, half the girls who stay out of school will be back in school.”
In line with education, a non-governmental organisation, Happy School Girl project, has also called on the government to provide free sanitary pads as part of the Free Senior High school policy.
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